PENDLETON — Simon Karakulidi is the featured guest soloist during the Oregon East Symphony’s 2019-20 concert season opener.

The Russian pianist is coming to Pendleton through Portland Piano International’s Rising Stars. The program shines a spotlight on the brightest up-and-coming piano talent in the world.

“Symphonic Shenanigans” is Sunday, Nov. 10, at 2 p.m. at the Vert Auditorium, 480 S.W. Dorion Ave., Pendleton. Concert tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, $15 for students or $65 for a family of four. In addition, season tickets are available for $60-$240, which includes four performances and an add-on option for the Spring Chamber Music Festival (April 18, 2020).

Under the baton of conductor and artistic director Beau Benson, the symphony will present Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2” and Johannes Brahms’s “Symphony No. 3.”

In addition, as part of a two-season initiative by the Oregon East Symphony to include works by contemporary composers, the program also features “Shenanigan” by American-Canadian-Hungarian composer Kati Agócs. The piece is a short overture based on the reels brought to French-speaking Canada by waves of English and Irish immigrants.

Born in 1997 in Novorossiysk, Russia, Karakulidi began his studies with professor Mira Marchenko at Central Musical School in Moscow in 2013. Just two years later, he garnered a pair of first-place awards, including the “Astana Piano Passion,” an international competition for young pianists, and at the “Villamrosa” competition in Mexico; and he placed second in the Vladimir Krainev Piano Competition in Moscow.

In June 2018, Karakulidi was awarded the Enlight Prize at the Art of Piano Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio. Earlier this year, he placed first at the Ann & Charles Eisemann International Young Artists Competition and the grand prize of the Naftzger Competition.

Karakulidi has participated in the master classes with world-acclaimed musicians, including Leon Fleisher, Arie Vardi, William Grant Nabore and Pavel Nercessian. Most recently, the pianist has studied with Stanislav Ioudenitch at Park University-International Center for Music, in Missouri.

For more information or to buy individual concert or season ticket packages, visit, or stop by the OES office, 345 S.W. Fourth St., Pendleton. Tickets can also be purchased at Pendleton Art + Frame, 36 S.W. Court Ave. For questions, contact 541-276-0320 or


Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at or 541-564-4539

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